Monday, November 3, 2014

Middle Grade Book Review ~ "The Fourteenth Goldfish" by Jennifer L. Holm

The Fourteenth GoldfishThe Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review (Netgalley)
Genre;  Middle Grade Fiction

Book description:  Believe in the possible . . . with this brilliantly quirky, thought-provoking novel from New York Times bestseller, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm

Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?

With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.

My thoughts: I loved this middle grade book about dealing with change and the inevitability of change!

Ellie's life is undergoing changes that she isn't happy about. Her best friend is moving on to other friends. She has left fifth grade and is now in sixth attending a middle school. Her grandfather is now living with them as a teenager and she found out her goldfish hasn't lived for seven years. It has been replaced several times by a concerned mother.

There are many great lessons that can be taken away from this book. One is that change isn't a bad thing. Ellie's life didn't shatter when her best friend found new friends. Ellie learned that she can make new friends and her life can still be good and fun. She noticed people around her and realized that even though they may look different, each is unique and can offer good things to her life.

The goldfish analogy was perfect. She found the thirteenth goldfish belly up in her tank. She discovered it wasn't the original. The lesson she learned about the life cycle was wonderful. Life is meant for plants, people, animals, etc to grow and fulfill a role on Earth. To change the pattern doesn't make the world a better place. It adds uncertainty and opens up many scenarios that would not be helpful to the world as a whole.

I highly recommend this book not just to children, but to everyone who enjoys a good story.

About the Author: (taken from GoodreadsJennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE. 

Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She is also the author of several other highly praised books, including the Boston Jane trilogy and MIDDLE SCHOOL IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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